Chandigarh, Oct 8 (UNI) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting today praised India for winning the fourth ODI here at the Sector 16 stadium.
''India played well. They won the toss and batted and kept wickets in hand. We couldn't get initial beakthroughs,'' Ponting told mediapersons in the post-match conference.
He made light of a question whether conceding 39 extras led to his side's defeat, saying, ''It happens every now and then. But the fact is they (India) scored a lot of runs in the last few overs.'' Ponting, however, admitted that at one stage he was confident of winning the match.
''We were chasing the target well. I thought we were going to be comfortable as the chase was in right direction and looked like getting across the line. But we lost wickets in crucial stages towards the end,'' he said.
The Aussie captain was of the view that Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds' dismissals were the turning point in the match, but Symonds wicket was a crucial one as after his departure the Aussies did not get the kind of momentum they thought they would get.
''It is just the big moments where we didn't capitalise.
Indians performed pretty well under pressure with the ball more than anything today,'' Ponting said.
''We started pretty well with the ball. Brett Lee's first spell today was outstanding. He had Sachin on strike for a long time, went past the outside edges a few times. There were big lbw shouts, big caught behind shout, but the fact remains that things didn't fall our way,'' the Aussie skipper added.
''In one-day cricket, if you don't get initial breakthroughs, even if you don't get good starts, you got extra wickets in hand.
In these sort of grounds...
Asked if his team woould be under any pressure after this defeat, Ponting replied, ''There is always pressure in any game.
Even if you win the game you are under certain pressure. It was a pretty tense game and we were not good enough to do it.'' He, however, wished that if only Symonds had batted through the innings they would have come out victorious.